Posts for tag: dental implants

DiabetesCanMakeGettinganImplantDifficultButNotImpossible

Over 26 million Americans have diabetes, a systemic condition that interferes with maintaining safe levels of blood sugar in the bloodstream. Over time, diabetes can begin to interfere with other bodily processes, including wound healing—which could affect dental care, and dental implants in particular.

Diabetes affects how the body regulates glucose, a basic sugar derived from food digestion that's the primary source of energy for cell development and function. Our bodies, though, must maintain glucose levels within a certain range — too high or too low could have adverse effects on our health. The body does this with the help of a hormone called insulin that's produced as needed by the pancreas to constantly regulate blood glucose levels.

There are two types of diabetes that interfere with the function of insulin in different ways. With Type I diabetes the pancreas stops producing insulin, forcing the patient to obtain the hormone externally through daily injections or medication. With Type II diabetes, the most common form among diabetics, the body doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't respond adequately to the insulin that's present.

As mentioned, one of the consequences of diabetes is slow wound healing. This can have a profound effect on the body in general, but it can also potentially cause problems with dental implants. That's because implants once placed need time to integrate with the bone to achieve a strong hold. Slow wound healing caused by diabetes can slow this integration process between implant and bone, which can affect the entire implantation process.

The potential for those kinds of problems is greater if a patient's diabetes isn't under control. Patients who are effectively managing their diabetes with proper diet, exercise and medication have less trouble with wound healing, and so less chance of healing problems with implants.

All in all, though, it appears diabetics as a group have as much success with implants as the general population (above 95 percent). But it can be a smoother process if you're doing everything you can to keep your diabetes under control.

If you would like more information on managing dental care with diabetes, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By James P. Watts, DMD
November 14, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

Are you dealing with tooth loss? Then you need to learn about dental implants! Available from Dr. James Watts, your dentist in Mystic, CT, these amazing dental restorations replace your entire missing tooth, from the roots all the way t the crown. Read on to learn about what dental implants can do for you!

More about dental implants

These restorations consist of several parts, including:

  • A biocompatible titanium post that is placed into the jawbone to replace the missing tooth root. Following placement, the titanium post bonds to the rest of the bone through a process called osseointegration (this generally takes 3-6 months to complete).
  • An abutment is placed on top of the post once osseointegration has occured.
  • A dental crown completes the restoration by being placed on top of the abutment

To install an implant, Dr. Watts will numb the area so that you don't feel any discomfort during the procedure. Once the post is palced, the area is sealed to allow for osseointegration to take place. During these few months, you will receive a temporary crown to go about your regular activities.

When you come in to complete the rest of the procedure, your Mystic dentist will insert the abutment atop the post before finalizing the restoration by placing a crown. Afterward, you'll be able to walk out of the dentist's office with a new and improved smile!

There are some of the many benefits to choosing dental implants:

  • They have a 95% success rate.
  • It's an aesthetically pleasing procedure that boosts self-esteem.
  • They prevent bone deterioration
  • They are easy to maintain—simply brush, floss, and use mouthwash like the rest of your teeth.

Interested? Give us a call

If you have any questions regarding dental implants, don't hesitate to contact your Mystic, CT, dentist, Dr. James Watts, today by dialing (860) 536-6446.

By James P. Watts, DMD
November 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental ImplantsHave you been thinking about replacing missing teeth with dental implants but have a few questions about the process? The latest restoration options offer several benefits that can make it an appealing choice. Mystic, CT, dentist Dr. James Watts helps his patients care for and improve their smiles with dental implants and other treatments.

How do dental implants work?

Dental implants are designed to become a permanent part of your jawbone. The titanium posts replace your natural tooth roots and are placed in small openings made in the bone. Once in place, the posts begin to osseointegrate, or bond, to your jawbone. Osseointegration ensures that your synthetic root can provide a stable foundation for the dental crown that will be attached to it.

After the crown is attached, your new tooth will act just like your natural teeth. You'll be able to eat anything you want and won't experience any slippage or irritation, even if you take a bite of a hard apple or enjoy a juicy steak.

Are implants the best choice for me?

Before you make your decision, you'll need to consider a few factors, including:

  • Longevity: Dental implants usually never need to be replaced, unlike bridges and dentures. If you're looking for a long-term replacement option, implants are an excellent choice. Keep in mind that you will need to replace the crowns on top of the implants approximately every 10 to 15 years due to wear.
  • Versatility: Implants are the only restoration option that can replace an unlimited number of lost teeth. If you've lost all of your teeth, you may want to consider implant-supported dentures. The dentures can be secured with as few as four implants per arch.
  • Biting Power: Unlike removable dentures, implant-supported dentures don't significantly reduce your biting power or limit your food choices.
  • Strength: Without stimulation from your roots, your jawbone will eventually begin to shrink. This shrinkage, called resorption, can cause your teeth to drift, lead to further tooth loss and even cause facial sagging. Dental implants provide the constant stimulation needed to prevent resorption.
  • Depth: Your Mystic dentist considers jawbone depth when deciding if you're a good candidate for dental implants. If your bone is too shallow, it won't be able to support the implants. In many cases, adding bone grafts to your jawbone will increase the depth and allow implants to be placed.

Restore your smile with dental implants! Call your Mystic, CT, dentist Dr. James Watts at (860) 536-6446 to schedule an appointment.

By James P. Watts, DMD
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental Implant Diagram

What your dentist in Mystic, CT, wants you to know about dental implants

You’ve probably heard about dental implants, but you may not know exactly what they are and how they can help you and your smile. Dr. James P. Watts in Mystic, CT, wants to share the facts about dental implants and what they can do for you.

If you are missing teeth, it can impact your ability to chew, which in turn can impact your digestion. Digestive problems can cause problems with your overall health. The digestive process begins in your mouth, so having a full set of teeth can help keep you healthy.

Despite your best efforts, you may lose teeth. Whether you lose a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants provide you with the closest possible solution to natural teeth.

Dental implant treatment begins with the placement of a dental implant screw, which will perform the function of a tooth “root” serving as an anchor in your jaw. Over time, your body forms additional bone, which will fuse around the implant screw and lock it firmly in place. After the healing period, a sparkling dental implant crown is placed over the implant screw, and you have a new addition to your smile.

People choose dental implants instead of bridges, partials, or dentures because dental implants are:

  • Convenient; you never take them out, and you can brush and floss them along with your natural teeth.
  • Stable; they will never move around because they are firmly embedded in bone.
  • Naturally beautiful; the implant crown is made of light-reflective materials that mimic the appearance of natural tooth enamel.
  • Long-lasting; with proper care, they should last a lifetime and they will never decay. They also resist stains, so they will stay beautiful for years.

Dental implants are also the most successful surgical implants, with a success rate in excess of 95% according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. To find out more about dental implants, seek out an expert. Call Dr. James P. Watts in Mystic, CT. Get started on a new, beautiful smile by calling today!

By James P. Watts, DMD
May 22, 2018
Category: Oral Health
WhyYouShouldStillFlosswithanImplant-SupportedBridge

Losing teeth to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease is never easy. But with implant-supported bridgework, you can regain lost function and appearance with a restoration that could last for many years.

Don’t think, though, that dental disease woes are a thing of the past with your new implants. Although your restoration itself can’t be infected, the supporting gums and underlying bone can, often through bacterial plaque accumulating around the implants. The bone that supports the implants could deteriorate, dramatically increasing your chances of losing your restoration.

It’s essential, then, that you keep the area between the bridge and gums clean of plaque through daily hygiene. This definitely includes flossing around the implants.

Flossing with an implant-supported bridge will be different than with natural teeth: instead of flossing between teeth you’ll need to thread the floss between the bridge and gums. Although this is a bit more difficult, it can be done with the help of a floss threader, a device with a loop on one end and a long, thin plastic point on the other—similar to a sewing needle.

To use it, thread about 18” of floss through the loop and then pass the threader’s thin end first through the space between the bridge and gums toward the tongue until the floss threader pulls through. You can then take hold of one end of the floss and then pull the threader completely out from beneath the bridge. Then, you wrap the ends around your fingers as you would normally and thoroughly floss the implant surfaces you’re accessing. You then release one end of the floss, pull out the remainder, rethread it in the threader and repeat the process in the next space between implants.

You also have other hygiene tool options: prefabricated floss with stiffened ends that thread through the bridge-gum space that you can use very easily; or you can purchase an interproximal brush that resembles a pipe cleaner with thin plastic bristles to access the space and brush around the implants.

Some patients also find an oral irrigator, a handheld device that sprays a pressurized stream of water to loosen and flush away plaque, to be an effective way of keeping this important area clean. But that said, oral irrigators generally aren’t as effective removing dental plaque as are floss or interproximal brushes.

Whatever flossing method you choose, the important thing is to choose one and practice it every day. By keeping bacterial plaque from building up around your implants, you’ll help ensure you won’t lose your restoration to disease, so it can continue to serve you for many years to come.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental work, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.